Across the Ravaged Lake

 

                                                  —Tanzania

 

The amount of time it takes
is unclear, and yet,

it happens—

the swan’s wings
carve down, down until the body

is meeting the water
and friction takes over.

Then—the hopelessness,

the petrification,

that suddenly-graceless body
is gripped and remolded

into ash, sulfur, stone.

I imagine how the feathers,
at the ends of the tail and wings, quiver

until the last moment. The tongue
and eyes, too, the yellow

glimpse, the black tongue,
before being neutrally pardoned

on a dull-gray lake.

 

*

 

Title taken from Nick Brandt’s Across the Ravaged Lake

 

 

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